World Perspectives 2017: IX. Russia: Victorious Outcome of NATO’s Cold War


1.                   As we have noted on numerous occasions, there has been an acceleration of the rivalry between the Western Great powers and Russia, particularly around the civil war in the Ukraine following the conquest of power by the Western-supported, extreme right-wing opposition in February 2014. As a result, the US and EU imposed economic sanctions against Moscow, which in turn retaliated. It appears that this Cold War may come to an end in 2017. Leading circles in the West increasingly recognize that they have failed to bring the Putin regime to its knees, forcing him to give up the Crimea and the Donbass region. Today, an increasing number of European politicians advocate an end of the sanctions against Russia. Among them are the German foreign minister and soon to be president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as the currently leading contenders in the French presidential elections, François Fillon and Marie Le Pen. And US president-elect, Trump, also advocates reconciliation with Putin.


2.                   Not only did Russia succeed in withstanding the pressure from the Western Great Powers, but her foreign policy position was also improved by the recent victory of the pro-Russian politician Igor Dodon in the presidential election in Moldavia (running against a pro-EU candidate). In a similar fashion, the pro-Russian candidate Rumen Radev won the Bulgarian presidential election. All these developments amply confirm the RCIT’s thesis that Russia has become an imperialist power capable of withstanding the combined pressure of US and EU imperialism. (As an aside, we note that – in contrast to many so-called “Trotskyists” – even Russian Stalinists like the Russian Communist Workers’ Party are capable of recognize the imperialist nature of “their” state! [1])


3.                   Of course, the Western sanctions hurt the Russian economy. They pushed the Putin regime into a closer alliance with China – an alliance in which Russia plays the role of the junior partner. This alliance has led to a number of strategic economic treaties between Russia and China. It also drove Moscow to diversify its economy, making it less dependent on imports. This has led, among other things, to some important changes in agriculture, but also to Sibur’s construction of a huge, $9.5 billion petro-chemical facility in Tobolsk – the biggest constructed since the end of the USSR.


4.                   After the Minsk agreement between Russia and the EU in February 2015, the civil war in the Ukraine has been completely pacified. This, too, proves the analysis of the RCIT as correct, when we stated in the autumn of 2014 that the Donbass Republics – which initially represented an antifascist and progressive popular reaction to the reactionary developments in Kiev – had degenerated and become completely controlled and subordinated by Russian imperialism. As the last two years have demonstrated, the Donbass Republics can't act independently in any way, but are simply lackeys of Russian imperialism. These developments have disproven those Stalinists and centrists (e.g., the IMT, L5I) who proclaimed that the Donbass Republics continue to represent an independent, progressive factor in the class struggle. (However, these groups have recently become far more reticent given the clearly visible corruption and degeneration of the Donbass republics.)


5.                   Revolutionaries in Russia unequivocally oppose the chauvinistic opportunism of the official Communist Party – the KPRF – which is a purely parliamentary party that indirectly collaborates with Putin, and praises both the market and the “spiritual power” of the Russian Orthodox Church, while opposing immigration. Revolutionaries in Russia must support all efforts to build a new Workers’ Party. Such a party will advocate primarily orienting the class struggle to the streets and the workplaces, instead of elections, and will intransigently fight against Russian imperialism which means, among other things, supporting the national liberation struggle of the Chechen people and the anti-Russian resistance of the Syrian rebels.


[1] See e.g. Statement of RCWP CC’s Political Council: Terrorism is a weapon of Imperialism, 25.11.2015, Naturally this must not deflect attention from the RCWP own opportunist adaption to Russian imperialism.